Tourists to Israel spent £4.7bn last year, with 10 percent increase in visitors

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Tourists to Israel spent £4.7bn last year, with 10 percent increase in visitors

Survey showing spending habits of holidaymakers in the Jewish state, indicates that four million people visited in 2018

Tel Aviv's famous promenade, soaked in sun
Tel Aviv's famous promenade, soaked in sun

Tourists to Israel last year spent almost 21 billion Israeli shekels – or £4.7 billion – as the number of visitors in 2018 jumped ten percent from 2017.

A survey showing the spending habits of holidaymakers was released on Sunday by Israel’s Ministry of Tourism, comparing the 3.6 million visitors in 2017 to more than four million last year.

The poll of 15,000 tourists showed that Jerusalem was Israel’s top draw, being seen by 77.5 percent of all tourists to the country, while 67.4 percent travelled to Tel Aviv, 48 percent saw the Dead Sea and 36.2 percent visited Tiberias, a city on the western shore of Lake Galilee with site of importance to Jewish and Christian pilgrims.

Ministry officials said the poll showed a diverse cross-section of ages, with 24.1 percent of tourists to Israel aged over 55, while 20 percent were aged 24 or under.

In addition, it showed that almost 55 percent were Christian, mainly from the United States, while 27.5 percent were Jewish. Only about 2.4 percent were Muslim.

Almost a quarter of respondents said the purpose of their stay in Israel was a pilgrimage, while 21.3 percent came for sightseeing, 30 percent were visiting friends and family, and 8.9 percent were there on business.

In the first half of 2019, 2.26 million tourists entered Israel, compared with 2.06 million tourists for the same period last year, according to a statement released by the ministry. Analysts said that fans of the Eurovision Song Contest had lifted the numbers.

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